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Other Indications

Modulating the endocannabinoid system has shown the potential to be beneficial in other indications and therapeutic areas. OCT will use its research network to identify other indications that may be beneficially targeted by OCT compounds in isolation or as a combination.

Neurology

The targeting of cannabinoid receptors on the cells of the central and peripheral nervous system has shown potential in treating debilitating neurological and neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy. Nabiximols, a combination of THC and CBD, has been clinically shown to ameliorate MS-related symptoms, particularly muscle spasticity, pain and stiffness, and bladder dysfunction. In addition, CBD, commercialised as Epidiolex®, is the standard-of-care for a rare form of epilepsy which starts in children (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome).

Autoimmunity and Inflammation

Cannabinoid receptors are expressed on the surface of cells of the immune system where they play an important role in proliferation, apoptosis (programmed cell death), and production of immunomodulators, such as cytokines and chemokines, and other molecules that play important roles in inflammation and inflammatory pain. Data from preclinical studies in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis suggests that cannabinoids have therapeutic potential in inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. The anti-inflammatory potential of cannabinoids may also benefit neurological disorders where special cells of the immune system called microglia cause damage to the neurons.

Cancer

As part of the rewiring of their transcriptional machinery that leads to transformation, cancer cells have high levels of endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors and modulators. Thus, it is not a surprise that the potential of cannabinoids to alleviate the symptoms of cancer and even to treat its underlying causes, has been discussed in pre-clinical research papers since the early 1970s. While the ability of cannabinoids to alleviate the symptomatology of cancer is widely accepted, recent clinical studies have shown encouraging results in the direct treatment of multiple cancer types (for instance, glioblastoma multiforme and pancreatic cancer).

Leveraging the potential of the recent agreement with Canopy Growth, OCT is aiming to use the existing library as a springboard to identify novel cannabinoid derivatives with improved “drug-like profiles” compared to pCBs. These new drugs will target conventional and novel targets on the ECS to kill tumour cells and at the same time potentially reduce associated symptoms such as chronic pain.